Fourth International Interdisciplinary Biennial Conference - Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA) - Theme: Boundaries - Date: 2 – 6 September 2018 - Venue: Valley Lodge and Spa (South Africa)

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA)

CFP

Boundaries  can literally  be defined as  limits, limiting  factors,  borders  or barriers. The  term connotes the idea of restriction in both a physical  and ideological  sense. In social and cultural discourses, the idea of boundaries can be understood  as a metaphysical notion  to describe various ideas which are the foundations of all forms of discrimination and prejudice  based on issues such as patriarchy,  race, ethnicity,  class, sexuality, religious affiliation and other forms of classification. Examples  of such  conceptions  of boundaries  in  colonial,  postcolonial,  poststructuralist  and postmodern discourses include  the practices of stereotyping or othering.

In literary, cultural and other disciplines located in the humanities,  the task of scholars is usually to deconstruct such boundaries. Hence, we engage in scholarly projects which engender notions of rising   above boundaries,   breaking boundaries,   transgressing   boundaries   and transcending boundaries. In this case, we challenge fixed  ideas of cultural, ethnic and national limits, whereby ideas of transnationality and globalisation become prominent.  We take to task socially constructed boundaries around gender, race and sexuality, unravelling the manifold ways in which entrenched behaviour both influences our perceptions of difference and constructs new barriers to difference.

Knowledge production in these fields continues to challenge our critical consciousness  as we move deeper into the 21st  century.  At the same time, it is important  that we also consider engaging in discussions around  the idea of boundaries as symptomatic of containment, stability and order. In English language studies, one can talk of boundaries in relation to language learning. Rules of grammar continue to inform how we teach language, especially in a multilingual  context such as South  Africa. Effective teaching and learning often involve identifying barriers to achieving proficiency in English or any other second language. Similarly,  different approaches  to teaching  or learning English can expose particular types of boundaries in methodologies. In disciplines such as political science and law, the idea of boundaries is not antithetical to notions of stability and order. Throughout  the humanities, social sciences and even natural sciences, the concept  of boundaries presents limitless possibilities for scholarly engagement.

Following its previous  successful conferences  on “Time” (2016), “Home” (2014) and “Memory” (2012), the Department  of English Studies at UNISA now presents “Boundaries” as the theme of the 2018 International  Interdisciplinary Biennial Conference. The conference will investigate this dynamic subject from the perspectives of literature and language,  as well as related  disciplines in the humanities  and beyond. The  theme of “Boundaries” is taken broadly  to include   as many perspectives  as possible,  whilst providing a focused environment  for discussion. Also of interest is the exploration  of the ‘middle  ground’  between diametrically  opposed concepts, places, ideas, arguments, people or peoples, time periods, and institutions, as well as the circumstances in which these dichotomies should be challenged. To this end, we hereby invite submissions related, but not

limited, to the following sub-themes:

Geographies, Localities and Borders

Metaphysical and Ideological Boundaries

Crossing Borders in Gender and Sexuality

Space, Liminality and Transgression

Scientific Breakthroughs

Time, Memory and Home

Migration and Diaspora

Transnationality and Globalisation

Genocide, War and Ethnic Conflicts

Voice and Agency 

Human/Nature Binary and the Ecocritical Project

Otherness, Othering and Postcolonial Criticism

Social Media and Alternative Facts

Rules in English Language Teaching and Learning

Translanguaging, Code-switching and Code-mixing

Multilingualism/Super Diversity

Human and Animal Rights 

Private and Intellectual Property Legislature

Diaspora(s)/Historical Movements

SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS AND DEADLINE

We welcome individual abstracts addressing any topic  relevant to the conference theme. We also invite  panel proposals  from a  diversity   of relevant  fields  such  as anthropology,   archaeology, architecture, art history,  classics, criminology, cultural studies, education,  economy  and management studies, environmental sciences, film studies, gender studies, geography, history  and historiography,  law, language,  literature, philosophy,   religious  studies,  sociology,  psychology, theology, and visual arts.

All paper and panel presentations will be in English.

Please submit an abstract of 200 to 250 words, with your name and affiliation, to the conference

organisers at boundariesconf@unisa.ac.za

The deadline for abstract submission is 28 February 2018. In order to facilitate bookings, early submissions would be greatly appreciated. 

All submissions will be acknowledged and acceptance of abstracts will be communicated by the 31 March 2018.

 ACCOMMODATION 

The conference will be held at Valley Lodge and Spa in the Magaliesberg region, South Africa. Taking cognisance of the fact that  September  is Heritage  month for South Africa,  the venue epitomises  the African heritage  and reflects  an appropriate  ambience and décor  for scholarly deliberations on the theme of boundaries.  

REGISTRATION INFORMATION, INCLUDING TIMELINE AND FEES, WILL BE AVAILABLE  ON  THE  REGISTRATION FORM TO  BE SENT OUT  ALONG  WITH ACCEPTANCE LETTERS.

The Department of English Studies at UNISA looks forward to welcoming  colleagues from all over the world to a celebration   of knowledge in a  stimulating  heritage  site. Please feel free to contact us at any time should you require more information.

Collegial greetings

The Organising Committee 

E-mail: boundariesconf@unisa.ac.za

 

 

Geographies, Localities and Borders Metaphysical and Ideological Boundaries Crossing Borders in Gender and Sexuality Space, Liminality and Transgression Scientific Breakthroughs

Time, Memory and Home Migration and Diaspora Transnationality and Globalisation Genocide, War and Ethnic Conflicts